The BBC is to revive entertainment game show The Generation Game after an absence from the corporation’s screens of twelve years.The series was last seen on BBC One with comedian Jim Davidson as host, however the series had its biggest ratings during the 1980s when comedy performer Larry Grayson was at the helm. A celebrity spin-off Generation Fame, hosted by Graham Norton, failed to make it past a one off special in 2005.
The original run was launched by Bruce Forsyth in 1971 and saw eight competitors – in teams of two – battle it out across the hour. The teams were usually made up of family members, mother and son and so on, which gave the challenges often more humour.
In the first two rounds, two couples would compete against each other in two games. The tasks were mixed with often the first involving the need to construct or perform something, such as the infamous potters wheel. The second game usually involved more of a quiz element, such as identifying pieces of music. At the end of each of the first two rounds, the couple with the lowest score was eliminated. The two highest-scoring couples then competed against each other with the winner going on to the conveyor belt segment, which required the pair to remember the prizes they’d seen pass them on the belt, all the ones remembered were won.
Now the BBC have revealed the show will be back next year, but will be ‘reimagined for a modern audience’, and is to be fronted by comedian Miranda Hart.
“It will be a modern reinvention of the Generation Game. Miranda will bring a very different flavour to it. Her wit and spirit behind it will naturally move it into the modern era. Miranda is brilliant at engaging with people, she loves that interaction. She’ll be brilliant.” – BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper Moore also promised that the new version wouldn’t be ‘predictable’ and would be absolutely rooted in the ‘present day’.
“Television is always reinventing things, every show has a great-grandparent that existed once. We all swim in the same pond.”
Bruce Forsyth, pictured top, is the most famous of all the Generation Game presenters having hosted the series from 1971 to 1977, 1990 to 1994 and a special ‘Now and Then’ series for UKTV in 2007. However it was Larry Grayson, pictured below, as host from 1978 to 1982 which saw the show pull in its biggest ratings, over twenty million viewers tuned in its peak. The series ended in 2002 after seven years with Jim Davidson as host.
Pictured Top: Bruce Forsyth presents The Generation Game: Now and Then for UKTV’s Gold channel in 2007. Pictured Bottom: Larry Grayson, 1980s host of the Generation Game. Pictured on ATV’s Crossroads in 1972.